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Published: 2016/01/10

Jam Cruise Day Four: Pickin’ the 80s, Phish Jams and Collaborations Win the Day

After the second and final stop in Cozumel, which saw Jam Cruisers once again greeted by sunshine and warm weather, the boat left port for Miami, signaling the home stretch for the fourteenth Jam Cruise.

As the island explorers returned to the boat, many killed time by retreating to the sports bar to watch the beginning of the NFL playoffs. Among them, Karl Denson, who sported an Alex Smith jersey with a series of other Kansas City Chiefs fan. Denson couldn’t stay long, however, as he had to head to the Pool Deck for his second set with KDTU. During their set, the band dipped into some of Prince’s Dirty Mind cuts with Con Brio’s Ziek McCarter. The band covered the album on Halloween.

Inside, Greensky’s Anders Beck and Paul Hoffman teamed up with Cris Jacobs and the Dusters’ Andy Hall for Pickin’ the 80s, a unique interpretation of classic 80s cuts like Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Little Red Corvette” along with “Atlantic City,” which was led by Amy Helm. The vocalist also sat in on “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

Paul Hoffman remarked that having Helm sit in on the tune was special, as he first was exposed to The Band version of the song. “The Band did it in the 90s, but Bruce did it in the 80s, so it still counts,” Hoffman joked.

The Atrium was the place to be in the early evening as Holly Bowling then took to the piano to deliver her Phish arrangements along with some other surprises. Bowling dipped into cuts like “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing,” “It’s Ice,” “Theme From the Bottom” and others before bringing out Aron Magner for “Franklin’s Tower” as well as the Disco Biscuits’ “Magellan.” Bowling also worked in “Help on the Way” and “Slipknot!” as well.

At the end of her set, Bowling invited Joel Cummins to the bench for “Tweezer Reprise” that segued into the Umphrey’s keys player’s set. Bowling then joined Cummins on “Cemetery Walk II” before departing.

Cummins opened his set with some selections from Claude Debussy, a favorite composer of his. Cummins also offered up covers of Radiohead’s “Everything in Its Right Place” as well as Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago” and a closing bit of Squeeze’s “Tempted.” About midway through the 45-minute set, Paul Hoffman and Anders Beck joined Cummins for their tune “Living Over” along with the Sufjan cover.

Back outside, The New Mastersounds played on the Pool Deck, their second set of the weekend. The band brought out Mike Dillon periodically during the set as well, along with a horn section. Keller Williams also appeared later on with More Than a Little, playing some Grateful Dead tunes before Lotus closed down the Pool Deck with an exploratory set. TAUK also played their second set of the weekend, welcoming out Joel Cummins towards the end for a lengthy keys jam. Cummins then retreated back into the crowd to enjoy the rest of the set.

Inside the Pantheon Theater, Dr. John was playing his second of two shows, this time jamming with The Meters’ Leo Nocentelli. Earlier in the week, Dr. John brought out Stanley Jordan as well as Fred Wesley. Also in the Pantheon, Anders Osborne welcomed Ivan Neville and Eric McFadden, meanwhile Snarky Puppy delivered yet another standout set.

Holding down the Jazz Room was Bernard Purdie, who welcomed out the likes of Nigel Hall, Karl Denson and numerous others throughout a very popular Jazz Room segment. As the night quickly turned to morning, Dumpstaphunk’s Nick Daniels helmed the Jam Room which featured numerous musicians including members of Snarky Puppy, Dumpstaphunk’s Ivan Neville and Tony Hall as well as many others.

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